The umbilical cord serves as the lifeline between the baby and the mother throughout pregnancy. High Desert women are often amazed to find out that the cord transfers nutrients, vitamins, and blood to the developing baby during the nine months of pregnancy. Toward the end of the pregnancy, the cord begins to provide the baby with antibodies that will help the newborn child develop its immune system. Apple Valley women who go to the Reza Ahmadinia OBGYN practice often have questions about cutting the cord after the baby has been delivered.

What Do I Need to Know About Cutting the Cord?

The umbilical cord will be cut after the baby is delivered. In some cases, the cord is cut immediately, but in other cases it is delayed. It is important to understand that there are some benefits and risks associated with delaying the cutting of the cord. Recent findings show that babies whose cords were cut more than 1 minute after birth had a higher birth weight, higher hemoglobin concentrations, and were better able to store iron in their bodies 3-6 months after delivery. At the same time, these babies were also at a greater risk for needing photo therapy in order to treat jaundice.

If the cord is wrapped around the baby’s head, it may need to be cut earlier in the process. In some cases the cord is cut before the neck and shoulders have been delivered. This decision is typically made by the OB/GYN who is delivering the baby, in order to protect the health of the baby during delivery.

Either the mom or her partner are invited to cut and clamp the umbilical cord in the event of a normal delivery that is free of complications. You should talk with your doctor about this prior to delivering the baby so that everyone is aware of your desires. When the time comes to cut the cord, the doctor and nurses in the room will provide you or your partner with the necessary instructions. Don’t feel bad if you or your partner are not interested in cutting the cord, your doctor will be fine with whatever decision you make.

Cutting the cord is often considered a rite of passage, but it is not always something that people want to do. Dr. Ahmadinia believes that patients should make their own choice based on their own individual preferences and circumstances when it comes to this decision. The team at Reza Ahmadinia OBGYN will support your decision, no matter which one you make. For more information about cutting the cord after delivery, and to find out how to care for the remaining cord after the fact, talk with Dr. Ahmadinia at your next routine prenatal appointment.